Back in 2009, I was a student, had been together with my girlfriend for a little under a year and as always, the money was relatively tight. If you were ever a student you will know exactly what I am talking about. For some reason we were always counting cents to make ends meet.
Anyway, on a particularly cold, wet winter day in May of 2009 we had just returned from a movie and happened to meet our neighbour (let’s call him John) outside. We ended up chatting for a couple of minutes and in that time an elderly lady of the complex came around the corner looking for John. You see, he was already the owner of an adorable Dachshund.
She asked what he thought she should do with a puppy she had just found in her outside garden.
The minute she heard this, my girlfriend (let’s call her Samantha) immediately went with the old lady to have a look. I can still remember thinking that there is no way we can afford to look after a rescue animal at this moment, when, a couple of minutes later she came back with this little, white fluffball wrapped in a blanket. Samantha didn’t even have to give me the “I wanna keep it” face as I had decided right then and there that we’ll make a plan no matter what.
We estimated him to be about 5 weeks old, way too early to be away from his mom. He was very weak, shaking from the cold, full of fleas and the ants were biting him.
So, what to do first? Even though we both grew up around dogs, we never had to make our own decision. Let’s see. Get him warmed up and try to feed him. Sounds about right, doesn’t it?
We found an small Tupperware container and added a little bit of milk to get some fluid into him. Success!! He was drinking as if he did not have food for days. In the meantime we soaked some of John’s Dachshund’s kibbles in warm water and once it was cooled down offered that to him. With half his body inside the Tupperware and his weak little back legs buckling from under him he munched down the entire bowl in one sitting.
John thought it might benefit him if he slept close to another dog the first night for warmth and to keep him company. So we decided to give it a try and apparently he slept quite dead until the morning. After the “food” in the evening and the good night’s rest he was already much stronger and more active than the night before.
That morning we took him to the Vet to have him checked out and get something against all those fleas. The Vet looked at him and told us: “This one will be a very beautiful dog when he grows up and if we do not want to keep him, he will.” He sprayed him against fleas and we left for Pick ‘n Pay to get him a blanket, a bowl and some dog food. The poor thing, wet from the flea spray, was shaking, so I wrapped him in my T-shirt and covered him inside my jacket where he immediately fell asleep.
- he was as big as my hand when we first got him.
- when we took him out to do his business, it looked like a little white and black
guinea pig following our feet and making the same noise all the way.
- when we took him to the grass patch inside the complex which was a little higher than the surrounding street framed by a curb, he was not able to jump off that small curb. However, there was no lack of trying, even after he made a couple of “bollemakiesies” off it.
- he tried to climb the stairs and kept to the one side of it. Suddenly there was something in the way and he couldn’t go further up and down looked way too scary. So he cried and we found him halfway up the steps and stuck.
He also has quite the character and is very playful. At some times his entire little body was lying on top of my shoe and he was attacking my shoelaces with vigor. Or he would bring all his toys to me while I was busy on the PC. When I looked down after a while I was surrounded by toys.
Over the next months he grew and got stronger very quickly and we soon learned that he was quite an intelligent little puppy. All the above mentioned problems he overcame one step at a time.
The only thing he never learned properly when he was a puppy was where to do his business during the night when he could not get outside. We always put down newspaper for him during the night and he always managed to do his business next to it. In the end the entire room’s floor was covered and he still managed to find a spot where the tiles were showing. As if he was thinking: “Maybe they do not want me to do my business where the newspaper is. Let me just find a spot where there is none. I’m a good boy!!”.
During the night he also slept in a basket next to the bed. Other than the precision pooping he practiced on an almost nightly basis, he also had the habit of standing up against the bed in the mornings, saying “Good Morning” to us and letting rip.
When he was still small and could fit into my jacket (it could be tightened at the waist to form a nice hammock) we carried him along everywhere. Every now and again he just popped out to see where we were and then went back to sleep.
After a while, however, he grew too big to fit into my jacket and we had to leave him in the house for sometimes hours at a time. We felt he was getting lonely and decided to see if we can adopt another puppy. Therefore we went to the Animal Welfare Society of Stellenbosch and had a look. What we were looking for found us that day. Her story is one of great success to us and is worth being posted separately.
Now listen to me rambling on about my Bubbu, my best Friend, my Baby and I haven’t even mentioned what we called him. Please let me introduce my (now almost 7 year old) boy “Lucky”.